Suunto SPARTAN TRAINER (WHR) :: First Run with STRYD and running POWER

Suunto SPARTAN TRAINER with STRYD MizunoFor those of you who don’t know about STRYD: It’s a running power meter and an accurate footpod

For those of you who don’t know about the Suunto SPARTAN TRAINER (WHR): It’s probably the go-to tri-specific BUDGET watch of any current model. It’s a mean running watch too, by inference.


FIRST THOUGHTS: SST (It’s too long to keep writing the name)

The SPARTAN TRAINER (WHR) uses the SPARTAN firmware and that has native support for running power data. Polar does too in the V800 and Garmin does not. But various Garmin CIQ apps mean that POWER data can be integrated. the point being that not every sports watch can handle running with POWER. As I’ve said, those that can are just: the Polar V800; any Suunto SPARTAN; and any Garmin that supports CIQ (effectively the more expensive ones like the Forerunner 235 and above)

The SPARTAN TRAINER (WHR) is thus, sort of, the cheapest new watch to buy if you also want to buy a STRYD. OK the soon-to-be-replaced V800 is sometimes on sale; so if I say, “The Suunto £200+ish SPARTAN TRAINER (WHR) is the cheapest current-model watch with native support for STRYD” then that will be true enough for the pedant in me.


Generally it seems a GOOD combo.

Here’s What I Expected

  • That SPARTAN TRAINER (WHR) integration would work 100% but known SPARTAN firmware issues would be unchanged;
  • That MOVESCOUNT would be fine as would Golden Cheetah; BUT
  • I expected to have problems importing the data into SportTracks 3.1.

Here’s What I ACTUALLY Found

  • MOVESCOUNT displays power. YAY! (The watch did too 😉 )
One piece of test data. Don’t read anything much into it
  • MOVESCOUNT allows a ‘proper’ selection of multiple power-based metrics for RUNNING profiles. YAY!! ie it has lap, max and various moving average powers. But not, for example, IF and NP – those will often be calculated after-the-fact by your analysis tool (not MOVESCOUNT).
  • BUT Power Zones & Power Alerts are NOT available for RUNNING. No watch manufacturer yet handles RUNNING POWER ZONES fully properly as you would get for cycling, although STRYD have the POWER RACE app for Garmin CIQ that effectively introduces POWER alerts.
  • Whilst the TRAINER’s GPS accuracy is market-leading (IMHO) the instant pace is still lacking. This instant pace issue is true of EVERY running watch. When working as a footpod, STRYD effectively delivers accurate ‘instant running pace’ when paired to the TRAINER. To do that it must be paired as a footpod and NOT as a power pod.
  • The known issue is that when paired as a footpod STRYD cannot then also be paired to any SPARTAN for power. It must be one or the other. The temporary workaround is to buy a cheap-as-chips MILESTONE footpod (link has a discount code) for the instant pace. It’s not as good as STRYD but it’s super cheap. Suunto have told me that they are definitely working on fixing this issue with some urgency (not support, other people). Then you can move the Milestone to another pair of shoes.
  • POWER data imports into 3rd party products like Golden Cheetah and SportTracks (desktop, below). Garmin CIQ running power data has ‘issues’ when trying to import into 3rd party products (workarounds exist).
sportTracks POWER
  • Pairing STRYD with a SPARTAN is quick and easy. Another known issue is that you can’t save multiple pairings of the same sensor type AND you can’t have a bike PM and a running PM paired at the same time. This is acceptable for training but kinda NOT for an actual race.

What this actually means

Suunto were first to support running-with-power and the Polar and Garmin platforms have, sort of, caught up; albeit to varying degrees. They recognise that there are missing bits of functionality and, we trust, these will be added promptly now that STRYD is becoming more widely used. FYI as an aside; in the recovery tent after Ironman Bolton BOTH PEOPLE SITTING IMMEDIATELY NEXT TO ME HAD STRYDs! they are not rare. (OK I sat next to them to strike a conversation about STRYD and marathon pacing up hills 😉 but the point stands).

How people pace themselves varies. Personally I use POWER ALERTS when cycling A LOT. I REALLY would use them A LOT when running/racing/training with power. Others use zones; I don’t. We’re all different. I kinda remember a target wattage and just get on with the workout; others want to know what power zone they are in…a NOT UNreasonable request. So, currently, ‘It’s tricky‘ to get these value-added RUNNING POWER features. STRYD have worked on CIQ apps, I imagine because a) they can and b) they see Garmin as a larger platform

STRYD support for the SPARTAN TRAINER gives it an edge FOR SOME PEOPLE over Polar M430 which is a competing watch BUT which doesn’t (yet) support STRYD. I’ve no idea why Polar did not do that for the release. +1 for Suunto in the budget end of the tri market and budget-to-mid end of the running market.

Polar, Suunto and Garmin all need to get their running power act together in some shape or form to deliver a proper POWER offering. C’mon people get with the programme.


If you are unsure then please read the STRYD Review.
STRYD Detailed Review (here)

I partner directly with STRYD in the USA and their distributor New Running Gear in the EU. The images below takes you through to whatever current deal on STRYD there is at any given time in the USA/Canada. Thank you!

stryd discount code coupon offer special price



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19 thoughts on “Suunto SPARTAN TRAINER (WHR) :: First Run with STRYD and running POWER

  1. Hi,

    I use Stryd with Ambit 3 Vertical so native support of power. A hint for power alert is to create a long interval training in Iphone app with selecting power as metric. Watch vibrates than if you move out of selected power limit. Just put from zero on the lower limit and this does a job. I’m now looking forward to buy Trainer and interested if there is same walk around possible?

  2. Yeah but if you just simply need power limit notification it works great. Put a long time, or distance corresponding to your run/ race and the power range. I used that approach in my 110k ultra run to keep me below certain power value seems the same as the race power in garmin IQ app.

  3. Thanks for the review, I do have a couple of question. When creating new sport modes in movescount with Stryd, do I check STRYD both as search for foot pod and power pod. Or only one of them?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. at present you can only choose one or the other .
      you cant get pace AND power from stryd on suunto at the moment. (hopefully soon)

      I use a milestone pod as well at the moment (which I appreciate is perhaps not what you wanted to hear)

  4. If spartan trainer can’t turn off auto-calibration, I’ll tell you your data is not 100% from foot pod. I used SSWHR with footpod for a few month, sometimes it’s not accurate at all. But it can get 100% data from Abmit3 because it can turn off auto calibration. So I sold my SSSWHR and use old Ambit3. and happy for this combination.

  5. Hi does the trainer show elevation from the barometer on the stryd? I was going to buy an ultra but like this better. Just would like accurate elevation.

    1. hmm good question which i’ve never thought of.
      STRYD has a barometer built-in but AFAIK barometric altimetry data is never output. ie just used in the calc
      SPARTANs/be cool with the altimetry. I prefer the BARO version. I have had 3 ULTRAs and for some reason the GPS wasn’t too great on either BUT BUT all the other SPARTAN’s seem to have REALLY GREAT GPS (market leading)
      i only mention that as suunto have Fused-Alti which will also use GPS to augment altimetry accuracy and if GPS ain’t great then FusedAlti can’t be…I’ve never tested that tho.

      Thanks for any support buying from links on this site

      1. Thanks for the reply. I was going to go for the Fenix 5 but was put off due to many gps inaccuracy complaints. I think I’m going to go for the ultra as I am going into ultra distance races. I would have still bought the trainer with the smaller battery and charged on the go. Maybe they will release the trainer Baro soon 🤞🏼

  6. Hello,
    I just wanted to confirm, you can now see power and pace readings when pairing STRYD as a footpod; but you cannot get the more advanced real time running metrics with Suunto that you can with Garmin IQ. Is this correct?

      1. Thank you for the response. One more quick question: In your opinion, do you think the Spartan Trainer (or the Vivoactive 3 even) with a STRYD footpod could be a better training device than the more expensive “big boy” watches without a footpad (i.e. the forerunner 935 or Spartan Sport)?

  7. I am the proud owner of a Suunto spartan Trainer Wrist HR watch and a Stryd footpod.
    Both features are linked to each other quite easily!
    Problem: How do I make the reading with Stryd visible on my watch while running..?
    anyone available to explain to me..?
    thanx! Pieter

    1. in movescount you make sure a power data field is chosen for the running sport you want.
      also ensure that that sport is looking for STRYD as a sensor
      do NOT pair as a POWER POD.
      hopefully you will see the hr and POWER (footpod) icons before you press START.

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